"You couldn't have it if you did want it," the Queen said. "The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday - but never jam today." "It must come sometimes to jam today," Alice objected. "No it can't," said the Queen. "It's jam every other day: today isn't any other day, you know."
- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
Yesterday we celebrated the last day of school with a trip to the strawberry patch. We left youngest gent home with dad, packed water bottles and sunscreen, and off we went. It was a delightfully warm sunny day. The strawberries were perfect-- warm and sweet. As we picked, the lovely ladies sang in lovely harmonies. We stopped to watch the hawks circling overhead, and examined the strawberry runners creeping out into the spaces between the rows.
I observed with a grin as the ladies and gents picked strawberries each in his or her own unique way, perfectly expressing his or her own unique way of moving through life:
Elder lovely lady dreamily picking through the strawberries at a snail's pace, trying to be conscientious and having absolutely no idea that despite the warm day she was moving slower than molasses in January.
Her younger sister, enthusiastic for the first fifteen minutes then alternately picking berries reluctantly or sitting in the dirt sulking because we weren't done yet, then standing up and dancing and singing.
Kindergarten gent, picking enthusiastically and trying his best to stick to the "Pick ten before you eat one" rule, then getting distracted and playing, then buckling down to pick so that his "team" (everyone but Mom) could win.
Middle gent putting one or two berries in the bucket, but mostly playing between the rows and eating strawberries.
Team Mom won the strawberry race, by the way. About ten minutes after fourteen-year-old lovely lady remarked at how fast she was picking, look, the bucket is almost 1/3 full, I was heading to get my second bucket. "Team Mom" picks in a way that expresses her personality, too: Task-oriented and efficient.
The gents and I spent the afternoon and evening making strawberry jam. My enthusiastic jam helpers stirred, licked the sugar spills off the counter, ate the extra strawberries so that we wouldn't have too many, and tasted the jam.
Dup! Dup! Dup!
There's nothing like the sound of jam jars sealing. When I hear that sound, I imagine that they're sealing in the summer, so that on a dreary winter morning when we're chilled and bleary, we can open a jar of strawberry jam and spread a bit of warm sweet summer on our toast or pancakes.
We had jam today. Waffles and strawberry jam. Perfect.